As a first-generation college-going student and professional, I had fear of confrontation and learned that embracing confrontation is a useful skillset.
Face Assumptions That You Learned About Confrontation.
I had 3 major assumptions that I needed to tackle before becoming comfortable with confrontation. Before I share the assumptions I had, I want to share the experiences that I had which informed these assumptions. First, peacekeeping was instilled in me by my parents as the eldest in my family. Secondly, as the first in my family to go to college and participate in professional internships, I felt like I couldn’t “make waves”. I often felt like I should just be grateful for the opportunities I was given no matter the issue. Lastly, I remember fearing confrontation because the only confrontation that I witnessed as a child amongst extended relatives was loud and sometimes physical. The first assumption that I carried about confrontation is that if you engage in the confrontation there won’t be peace. The second assumption was that confronting issues would limit opportunities. And lastly, the third assumption was that confrontation could be violent and unsafe. These assumptions followed me into college and into my early career and they fed my fear of confrontation.
Challenge And Reframe Your Thoughts On Confrontation
Once you understand the assumptions you hold about confrontation, you can challenge and reframe these thoughts. To conquer my fear of confrontation, I reframed each of my assumptions. Here are examples of how I reframed my thoughts.
- You can maintain peace by engaging in confrontation.
- You can increase joy without losing opportunites by engaging in confrontation.
- When the art of confrontation is done well, there does not need to be violence. If something feels unsafe, then you can report it to HR.
Since confrontation is a part of life, the sooner you understand that getting good at managing confrontation is a skillset, the better off you’ll be personally and professionally. Imagine what you will gain by learning this art form? You can problem-solve, restore the peace by allowing people to air their grievances, create a culture of open communication, etc.
Steps To Practice Dealing With Confrontation
You can practice dealing with confrontation. If you are first starting out, do not tackle the biggest scariest battle. Pick a smaller issue and work your way up to bigger issues. Look at my latest post below from Instagram for steps on dealing with confrontation. Also, be kind to yourself and know that it takes time to get better at this skill like anything else.
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